Tuscaloosa County schools looking for bus drivers and aides for fall semester
School buses in the Tuscaloosa County School System roll across 2.5 million miles of roads every year, and county officials are looking to hire 25 new drivers to join them on the ride this fall.
The TCSS has 206 school buses and 33 special needs buses, with 12 regular routes ready to be filled.
Director of Transportation Donna Christian for the TCSS said finding drivers to fill those seats has been difficult.
“We were 100% full when we started this past school year but, since the end, we’ve had some retirings and some openings that’s come about,” Christian said, “We’re shorter than we’ve been in a while.”
Driving at least four hours per day, Bus Drivers will earn about $15,000 annually and Bus Aides will earn around $12,700 per year, with full benefits and retirement.
School officials say their candidates should not let a big vehicle intimidate them.
TCSS Transportation Department Transportation Coordinator Craig Henson said bus driving, “works good as a secondary or supplemental employment” for individuals who are self-employed, partially or fully retired or students over the age of 21.
The 60 hours of required training normally costs candidates $1,500. However, TCSS covers that cost for its job candidates.
Candidates learn to drive on closed and open courses, as well as how to manage their bus the way teachers manage their classrooms.
But for Henson, a dedication to serving others is “the No. 1 thing” that makes a good bus driver.
“If your heart is good, we can train you and take the time with you to teach you to drive,” he said.
Training begins on June 14.